New Year, New Schedule
September 9, 2022
As the new 2022-2023 school year begins, so does an official mandate for the state of California. The new law states that schools start 30 minutes later than normal, which has many students excited and multiple others concerned.
In 2019, California’s governor Gavin Newsom signed Senate Bill 328. The document states that all California high schools must start no earlier than 8:30 a.m. The bill’s purpose was to recognize and support student mental health by giving students more time to sleep and prepare for school.
Many students are so far enjoying the refurbished schedule. Mason McClain (11) believes the change was a great idea. He reported that “having the ability to wake up 30 minutes later if I need to has really helped my ability to get more valuable and fulfilling sleep.” When asked about his improved morning routine, he described his start of the day as “pleasant” and “a luxury.” McClain has confidence in the new system and agrees that it should most definitely help student health.
McClain isn’t the only student who believes that this change is beneficial. Lorena Rusca (11) is a member of West High’s Drill and All Male team, which takes up her zero and first period. Rusca discussed how the change in school times has given her more preparation for her morning classes. Rusca positively mentioned her new morning routine, saying “I used to wake up at like 5:50 because it took me so long to get up. But now I can wake up later and everything is alright.” Rusca is pleased with the new times, but noted that it hasn’t helped her as much as it could help others. Students overall seem to enjoy the change, but some have issues with the new format.
AP Environmental Science and biology teacher Mrs. Rivera recognized that the recent schedule change is partially an upgrade from our previous system. She has noticed that in her first period many students “are arriving earlier than before.” Even though Mrs. Rivera is supportive of the change, she feels as if it pushes back the essential problem. She explained how “now students will stay up later because they think they have an extra thirty minutes of sleep!” Mrs. Rivera believes that the new schedule gives students an excuse to stay up later than before, ultimately ruining the true intention of the change.
The recent bill to change Californian school times has built up some debate. Nevertheless, it can perhaps inspire more change as student health becomes a larger priority in our school systems.